Stocks soar as Biden zeros in on Yellen as Treasury secretary

The Wall Street Journal said Biden could pick Yellen before Thanksgiving

Stocks surged in the final hour of trading Monday after a report said former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is projected to be President-elect Joe Biden's choice for Treasury Secretary.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES30996.98-179.03-0.57%
BABOEING COMPANY205.84-1.57-0.76%
CVXCHEVRON CORP.91.70-0.28-0.30%
GSGOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC.289.39+0.02+0.01%
SP500S&P 5003841.47-11.60-0.30%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 330 points, or 1.13%, led by gains in Boeing, Chevron and Goldman Sachs.

Cruise operators and airlines were among the top performers in the S&P 500, which finished higher by 0.57%, after AstraZeneca became the third drugmaker to release positive news regarding a COVID-19 vaccine.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.22%, but underperformed as mega-cap tech stocks such as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google lagged their peers.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX13543.061633+12.15+0.09%
AAPLAPPLE INC.139.07+2.20+1.61%
FBFACEBOOK INC.274.50+1.63+0.60%
GOOGLALPHABET INC.1,892.56+8.41+0.45%
MSFTMICROSOFT CORP.225.95+0.98+0.44%

DOW DROPS 219 POINTS AS STOCKS END WEEK LITTLE CHANGED

YELLEN TO HEAD TREASURY

Biden is expected to name Yellen, who served as Federal Reserve chair under former President Barack Obama, as his pick before Thanksgiving, according to The Wall Street Journal. She would need a simple 51-vote majority to receive Senate approval.

FOX Business previously reported Yellen was in contention for the job.

COVID-19 PROGRESS

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
AZNASTRAZENECA PLC53.25+0.70+1.33%
PFEBNTXn.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.
MRNAMODERNA INC.131.02-1.96-1.47%

U.K. drugmaker AstraZeneca announced that its vaccine being developed with Oxford University can be up to 90% effective in late-stage trials, depending upon the dosage. The vaccine is the third, behind that from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, to show strong efficacy results in Phase 3 trials.

Shares of AstraZeneca were slightly lower on Monday despite the good news.

Continued positive news on the vaccine front comes after Johns Hopkins University announced on Saturday that the U.S. surpassed 12 million coronavirus cases, the most impacted country in the world.

SNAP GOES AFTER TIK-TOK

Snap announced it was launching Spotlight, an entertainment platform for user-generated content, similar to TikTok.

Shares of Snap, led by CEO Evan Spiegel, rallied more than 3% to finish at a record high.

ECONOMIC REPORTS

The economic calendar was light with a pair of reports coming in ahead of expectations.

Markit released the Manufacturing PMI and Services PMI reports, with readings coming in at 56.7 and 57.7, respectively. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected readings of 53 and 55.

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West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 64 cents to $43.06 per barrel. In other commodities, gold plunged $34.80 to $1,837.80 an ounce.

European indexes surrendered early gains with the STOXX Europe 600 slipping 0.01% and Britain's FTSE shedding 0.28%. The other major indexes, France's CAC and Germany's DAX were off fractionally.

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